The new-generation Ford Mustang
already packs retro-tinged styling, but Ford is turning up the nostalgia another notch for 2016 with two new appearance packages and a throwback to the 1967 Mustang’s hood-vent turn signals.
Dedicated Mustang fans will remember the turn-signal repeaters tucked in the hood vents of the second-generation 1967–68 pony car. Apparently, Mustang loyalists have been clamoring for the return of this nifty gimmick and Ford delivered: Every 2016 Mustang GT will feature LED turn-signal repeaters recessed under the lip of the hood vents. Is it particularly functional? Nah, probably not—but it’s the kind of throwback nod that Ford loves to make for its devoted following.
The 2016 model year also marks the return of two trim packages that originated in the Mustang’s 1960s heyday: the California Special and Pony packages.
Available on the Mustang GT Premium, the California Special adds 19-inch, black-painted machined-aluminum wheels; hood and side stripes; a black pedestal spoiler out back; darkened taillight trim; and black-painted mirrors and hood vents. There’s also a unique “gas cap” badge (that hasn’t served as an actual fuel filler since it first reappeared on the SN95 Mustang) on the rear panel. Inside, the CS features black leather and microsuede upholstery with red contrast stitching, and the door-panel inserts, dashboard plaque, and strut-tower brace also get California Special branding.
Ford will also offer GT fastback and convertible buyers the option of a Black Accent package with a decklid spoiler, taillight trim, special 19-inch wheels, and 5.0 and pony badges all rendered in black. Hence the name.
For those who prefer their horses turbocharged, the 2016 Mustang EcoBoost Premium can be had with a new Pony pack. The appearance kit includes unique 19-inch polished wheels, a tri-bar grille, side stripes, and chrome trim around the windows. Also for 2016, EcoBoost and GT buyers can option their hardtop cars with either a black-painted roof or factory-painted over-the-top racing stripes in black or silver. (The stripes were previously available on V-6 Mustangs, but Ford tells us the base-model six-banger will not get a black-roof option for 2016.)
Finally, Ford will extend the Performance package to the convertible Mustang GT for 2016. Strictly limited to manual-transmission models, the bundle adds a plethora of chassis upgrades for sharper handling. Those include a thicker rear anti-roll bar, heavy-duty front springs, strut-tower and underbody bracing, six-piston Brembo brake calipers at the front, staggered-width black 19-inch wheels (9.0 inches wide up front and 9.5 out back), and a 3.73:1 limited-slip differential. Performance-package Mustangs also receive uniquely tuned stability control, ABS, and electric power steering; a more aggressive front splitter; engine-turned trim around the gauges; and delete the standard decklid spoiler.
Ford says that 2016 Mustangs of all flavors will start hitting dealerships in the third quarter of 2015.